, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 163–174 | Cite as

Evaluating pyrene toxicity on Arctic key copepod species Calanus hyperboreus

  • Rasmus Dyrmose Nørregaard
  • Torkel Gissel NielsenEmail author
  • Eva Friis Møller
  • Jakob Strand
  • Laila Espersen
  • Malene Møhl


Calanus hyperboreus is a key species in the Arctic regions because of its abundance and role in the Arctic food web. Exploitation of the off shore oil reserves along Western Greenland is expected in the near future, and it is important to evaluate the acute and chronic effects of oil emissions to the ecosystem. In this study C. hyperboreus females were exposed to concentrations of 0, 0.1, 1, 10 and 100 nM pyrene and saturated concentrations measured to ~300 nM. Daily quantification of egg and faecal pellet production showed significant decreases in the pellet production, while the egg production was unaffected. The hatching success was also unaffected, although the total reproductive output was reduced with increased pyrene concentrations. Accumulation of pyrene in the copepods was higher in feeding than starving females and only trace amounts of the phase I metabolite 1-hydroxypyrene, were found. Lowered reproductive output, reduced grazing, and reduced ability to metabolize pyrene suggest that oil contamination may constitute a risk to C. hyperboreus recruitment, energy transfer in the food web and transfer of pyrene to higher trophic levels.


Calanus hyperboreus PAH Pyrene Faecal pellet production Egg production 



This study was funded by the Carlsberg Foundation, Greenland Climate Research Center (GCRC Grant 6505), Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum, Greenland, Selskabet for Arktisk Forskning og Teknologi, Knud Højgårds Fond and the Oticon Foundation. The fieldwork took place at Arctic Station (University of Copenhagen, Qerqertarsuaq)—a big thanks to the station manager Ole Stecher and staff and to the crew of RV Porsild for providing a great working environment. We would especially like to thank Abel Brandt and Johannes Mølgaard, who with their hard work, good spirits and limitless knowledge on local conditions made our work on the sea ice possible.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rasmus Dyrmose Nørregaard
    • 1
  • Torkel Gissel Nielsen
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Eva Friis Møller
    • 2
  • Jakob Strand
    • 2
  • Laila Espersen
    • 1
  • Malene Møhl
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Oceanography and Climate, National Institute of Aquatic ResourcesTechnical University of DenmarkCharlottenlundDenmark
  2. 2.Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversityRoskildeDenmark
  3. 3.Greenland Climate Research CentreGreenland Institute of Natural ResourcesNuukGreenland

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